Stockholm was the first stop of my four-day cruise with St. Peter Line. I only had less than 24 hours to explore as we docked at 9:00 AM and the ship is expected to leave at 6:00PM. With the given time, I still wanted to get to know the city whilst sticking to my budget (Iceland did kill my wallet after all).
Here are some of the activities I managed to do in 9 hours:
Explore the artistic Stockholm subway stations
Stockholm has the longest art gallery in the world in the form of its subway stations. The story behind these murals, sculptures and painting will only make you appreciate the art more. Some of the striking murals are in the main hubs but there are also some quirky ones in further stations. I recommend getting the SL pass since you can use this to travel in busses and ferries.
SL Travel card (24 hours) : 120 SEK or $14 USD
Join a free walking tour
Free, walking tours are some of the first activities I look out for when I visit a destination. I always find it a good way to learn about the city and also meet new people. It also helps that the guides I meet are so nice and cheerful!
The tour was held in Gamla Stan or the old town of Stockholm. Gamla stan is like a fairytale setting with its cobblestone streets, and buildings in shades of dandelion and rose. Some of the highlights are Stockholm’s oldest square, Stortoget and narrowest alley of the city called Mårten Trotzigs alley). It was also interesting to see the Nobel Museum.
A Visit to Vasa Museum
You can take the ferry at the end of Gamla Stan if you want to go to Vasa Museum. The ferry ride is free if you have the SL card. The ride itself offers scenic view of Stockholm. I wanted to go to both Vasa and Abba museum but I did not really have time hence I went with Vasa. I went an hour and a half before closing. It was no surprise that there were no queues.
The Vasa ship is a Swedish warship which capsized and sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. Considering that the ship is almost 400 years old, it is quite impressive that 95 percent of the ship is original. You can still see many carved sculptures albeit there are parts that have deteriorated. Much of the research and restoration efforts focus on Vasa’s wood. There is also an area in the museum where you can see scholars doing their research. In addition to the Vasa, there are exhibitions around that tells about life on board the ship. You can also see artefacts recovered from the ship.
Adults: 130 SEK / $15.31 USD
Students: 110 SEK / $ 12.96 USD (with valid student ID showing expiry date)
Children and young people 0-18 years: free of charge
Fika is a social practice that is ingrained in Swedish society and integral in the country’s culture. This is often taken many times a day. Fika translates as a “coffee and cake break”. Family, workmates and friends sit down for a cup of coffee and have conversations.For obvious reasons, I’m quite glad that fika is a common occurrence in the country. This would be an excellent way to destress and relax on a busy day.
I had Princess cake and it was around 45 SEK or $4.50 USD
A Visit to Magasin III
I was heading back to the ship when I came across Magasin III. The gallery is actually well-hidden and located in the dockside. What I like about this space is the how they transformed a former warehouse this sleek, modern gallery. Magasin III had been hosting exhibitions of various contemporary artists since it opened its doors in 1987. As of now, the gallery is not open for public viewing.
Even with a short time, I felt that my visit in Stockholm was a well-rounded one. I saw exhibitions that combined my interests in art and history. I truly had an amazing time exploring and getting know this beautiful city.